Shrink sleeves

One of the fastest-growing labeling methods, shrink sleeves allow brand owners to maximize both shelf appeal and budget. Able to conform to virtually any container shape, these versatile labels are expanding beyond food and beverage packaging, and are now emerging in the household, personal care, beauty, and pet care markets.

Are shrink sleeves right for your brand?

Creating a sleek look and feel, shrink sleeves are quickly becoming one of the leading packaging choices for brands and contract manufacturers. Heated until they shrink tightly around your container, shrink sleeves allow you to select unique containers that stand out on the shelf. 

Designer sketching drawing of sustainable packaging

360° of decoration gives designers more space to maximize shelf appeal.

Image of recyclable shrink sleeve on clear PET bottle

Materials that conform to containers of all shapes and sizes.

Overhead shot of sustainable shrink sleeve label printing

Reverse printed, protecting your design from moisture and abrasion.

Young girl fills her backpack with school supplies and lunchbox

Add tamper-evidence with perforations or neckbands for consumer peace-of-mind.

Young woman browses store shelf. She has shopping basket full of healthy food items

Launch promotions and cross- branded items by wrapping multiple products together.

Person recycling clear plastic bottle

Recyclable and sustainable shrink sleeve materials to reduce your environmental impact.

Solutions that meet your needs

We offer a wide variety of shrink sleeve formats, including shrink sleeve labels, tamper-evident neckbands, and multi-pack sleeves. These solutions are available in a wide range of materials, including PET-G, PVC, OPS, and polyolefin (hybrid) films. Are you looking for sustainable shrink sleeves? We offer APR Preferred, recyclable shrink sleeves (PET-C). We also offer bio-based and post-consumer recycled (PCR) film materials.

No matter what you’re labeling — we’ll work with you to find a solution that meets your needs.

Shrink sleeve labels

Designed for 360-degree branding. Formats include full body, over-the-cap, large format, and partial sleeves.

Collection of containers with different types ofshrink sleeve labels
  • Add tamper evidence and perforations for easy removal
  • Cover obsolete packaging with blockout coatings

Tamper-evident neckbands

Give consumers peace-of-mind. Neckbands can be clear or fully printed to suit your needs.

Two bottles with tamper-evident shrink sleeve neckbands
  •  Add perforations for easy removal

Multi-pack and promotional

Ideal for promotions and warehouse bundles. Common formats include twin packs and bulk packs.

Pack of six bottles wrapped in a sustainable shrink sleeve

Our shrink sleeve manufacturing process

We take rolls of film – in a wide variety of materials, gauges and widths – and manufacture them into shrink sleeve labels, tamper-evident neckbands, and multi pack sleeves. From artwork development, to printing and finishing, we have everything needed to complete this process in-house. 

Step 1: Artwork development
During the project discovery process, we determine the preliminary cut height and lay flat measurements for your sleeve. Then, we provide a roll of the selected material, printed with a grid pattern, to apply to your containers. After these measurements are confirmed, we use the grid test to create an artwork template for your designer. Print-ready art is then created and calibrated for the print process.
Step 2: Printing
Once approved, the label begins production. Our flexographic and rotogravure print platforms are positioned for high-speed, high-volume printing, and our digital platforms meet demand for faster lead-times and shorter runs. Shrink sleeves are traditionally reverse printed, so we apply inks to the back of the material. During this step, we will also apply specialty embellishments and varnishes, if selected.
Step 3: Slitting
After the printing process, the film material is slit down to the correct width for your application. This process is completed either in-line and on the press, or off-line on a designated slitter.
Step 4: Seaming
Then, the roll is moved to a seamer. The seamer applies a solvent to one edge of the material, and then folds it over onto the uncoated edge. This creates a chemical bond between the two sides and forms one continuous tube. 
Step 5: Finishing
After we have printed and seamed your film, the final step in our process is finishing. During this step, the large seamed label rolls are wound into smaller length finished rolls for machine application. Or, they are cut into single sleeves for hand application, also known as cutbands.
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Explore features + capabilities

One of the most versatile labels around, our shrink labels can be applied to a multitude of packaging surfaces and shapes.

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We offer a wide range of materials, in a variety of gauges. Our shrink sleeve offering includes:

  • Clear and white PET-G
  • Recyclable PET-C
  • PVC
  • OPS
  • Polyolefin (hybrid)
  • PLA
  • Post-consumer recycled (PCR)

We offer gloss, matte, and soft touch matte finishes. These can be flood varnishes (covering the entire design) or spot varnishes (on certain areas of the design). With our digital capabilities, spot varnishes can also be variable.

Our shrink sleeves for PET containers are APR Preferred, helping you maximize the recyclability of your PET packaging without polluting the recycling stream. These solutions include our Crystallizable Shrink (PET-C) material, which utilizes our GreenLabel™ ink technology — a system that completely washes off the ground shrink flakes. These shrink sleeve labels will stay with the PET flakes during the recycling process, but the label’s ink releases from the PET shrink film, allowing both the label and bottle flakes to be recovered. This keeps quality PET in the loop, and promotes a circular economy. 

Many shrink sleeves require a distortion or compensation of graphics so logos and design elements appear correct when applied to a container. A printed grid pattern can give data on how the sleeve is forming to the container. It will reveal distortion areas either to avoid or leave room for compensation of the graphics. 

That said, we have state of the art graphic distortion software in-house.

Shrink sleeves are most commonly machine applied, but they can be hand applied. 

During machine application, shrink sleeves are typically cut from a finished roll and placed around containers. Then, the shrink sleeve will be applied onto the container using heat in a shrink tunnel, usually in the form of hot air, steam, or infrared technology. 

Generally used for lower volumes or prototypes, hand application requires cutbands to be placed around containers. Then, a handheld gun or shrink box is used to shrink the sleeve onto the container. 

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